Bitter Winds of Winter

As disappointed as I am, along with everyone else, that Winds of Winter will not be released before the start of HBO’s Game of Thrones season 6, it is amusing to see the outrage expressed on the internet. Indeed, most outrages nowadays are only manifested online, behind a cloak of anonymity and a false sheen of virtual courage. It’s a dumbfounding phenomenon. (Ben Carson was right about internet comments.)

Yet, reading George R.R. Martin’s response to the reactions set me at ease. While the TV show and the hectic publicity schedule undoubtedly put tremendous pressure on him, the fear I had was that his storytelling might have been compromised for the sake of deadlines. How could it not? The pace of the show certainly was nipping at his heels. Add to that the vehemence of fans, detractors, trolls and haters. Surely he was feeling heat. Or so one would think.

From George’s blog post, it is clear that he works at his own pace and the world be damned. “I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this,” he wrote. “It will be done when it’s done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it.”

Of course, the stress is there, but:

“I won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not David & Dan. It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. I worked on the book a couple of days ago, revising a Theon chapter and adding some new material, and I will writing on it again tomorrow. But no, I can’t tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can’t say. I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out.”

Personally, I am relieved. Winds of Winter will be great whenever it comes out.

“Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That’s all I know how to do.”